Establish the criteria important to customers
Why is it so important to be acknowledged in your industry or marketplace? Not just because it delights executives, sales reps and customers, but because it effectively builds credibility. Your story or article can take on a life of its own creating interest and preference for your products or services over your competitors. It can help establish you as an expert in an already crowded field – strategically setting the criteria important to new customers to attract them through your uniquely crafted message.
Getting published is a process
So why aren’t more companies getting published? In my experience, I have found they do not clearly understand their competitive strengths, their missions or the process to get published. Let me put this in perspective. We use a 21-step process, which is like a picture. If any element is not clear, in its proper place or attuned to the audience, the editors will often reject the draft or the marketing and sales impact will be lost.
Factors to consider
You need to address these critical factors to get your story published and message spread:
- Strategically relevant – determine which buying criteria the topic can influence. According to Niraj Dawar in Step-by-Step Guide to Winning the Customer, “Your first strategic goal is to convince as large a segment of the market as possible to use cutoff criteria that favor your brand.”
- Team effort – get your customers and vendors involved with promoting why you, as a trusted business partner, are indispensable.
- Fit the publication – write it for the audience and editorial guidelines of the publication.
- Team approval – obtain sign-offs from all players.
- Shared socially and reused – get the link out there, republish when possible and use it as collateral during the sales process.
Great articles can also boost SEO rankings and invigorate sales between events. Often, they can be republished after three months for other publications and markets, used to support the sales process, as well as repurposed in web pages and blogs.
More effective as part of an overall communication plan
If publishing is an artist’s metaphor, then creating an annual communication plan is an architect’s metaphor. When you extend the process to include all scheduled publishing opportunities, web pages, blog posts, events and sales support materials, you can begin to build a foundation for your strategy and a workable plan and communications to achieve your goals.
So give your best customers, products or services valuable exposure for a fraction of the investment of ads to get noticed, tip buying decisions in your favor and build relationships with them and your business communities.
Should you need help with your editorial planning, content development or copywriting, contact us. To learn how to do it yourself, see information about our Marketing Planning and Marketing Communication Workshops.
In the next blog, we will explore how to create your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) to define the selection cut-off criteria and construct your messages during the buying cycle.